Dog Recall Training: Six Tips From Champion Dog Trainer Ben Randall


Training your dog isn’t easy – and with the recent huge increase in dog ownership, there’s never been a better time to share the best tips. Renowned dog trainer Ben Randall solves your canine dilemmas.

Dog recall training is a headache for millions of owners – but why is recall such a big deal? Why is it so common in all races around the world?

The main reason is that since they were puppies, most dogs have had too much freedom to roam and they have become “independent workers”, i.e. they quickly find their own pleasure. , which is far more exciting than anything their owner has to offer. Also, when they return, they are often greeted with a stern word and put back on the leash, hence why the dog is not so eager to come back when called.

I’m Ben Randall, a multi-award winning dog trainer – you may have seen me last year in country life and I am very happy to say that I am now here as the uncle of canine agony. Picking a dog is easier than training it, but I’ll use my tried and true BG (Beggarbush) dog training methods to help explain how to fix all sorts of problems.

You can see more of my work on Instagram @beggarbush and on my dog training app, while asking your own question for this column, email [email protected] And dog recall training is the first of those challenges, sparked by this message:

dear ben,’ writes PL from Dorset. ‘I have a young Labrador, who is well behaved and obedient at home, but does not always come back when called, especially when I take him to the park and he is distracted by other dogs and people. What can I do to make sure it comes back to me every time?

Six dog booster training tips

You can work on your recall training and make sure she doesn’t end up in dangerous situations, building a better bond, trust, and partnership. All dogs (and humans!) love 1-2-1 attention, and following these tips will have them returning with enthusiasm in no time.

1. Turn dog recall training into a game

Create games that you can play with your dog at home, such as hiding balls or food around the house and asking him to find them. Start in a controlled environment, like the kitchen or hallway, then move to more open spaces. Making it fun for them is key. Think about it, if you were a dog and your master or mistress yelled at you, “Come back, Bertie, you naughty boy!” You also may not want to do what you are told.

2. Take it out once you’ve mastered the recall inside

Going out can have associations for your dog that get in the way of recall training. If you leave your young dog in the garden to go to the bathroom 10 times a day and he goes wild every time, that’s potentially 300 times a month that you’ve allowed him to find his own playtime outside, and not listen to you.

Once the dog is accustomed to playing recall games around the house, transfer the hide-and-seek games to the garden – once your pet has pooped, the play can begin. Using the dog’s natural instinct and desire to find things will help encourage him to focus on you and see you as someone exciting and someone he wants to gallop back to.

3. Make it progressively harder – and go back to basics if you have to

Remember, the key here is to build this exercise by doing it in increasingly different and tempting environments. If you make it progressively more difficult, you should be able to improve your dog’s recall. However, if you’re having trouble, go back to basics and focus on an easier game that your dog can easily pull off, before trying again somewhere with more distractions.

4. Incorporate dog recall training into your walks

These games can then be used while you walk your dog – in which you hide balls, dummies or food to search for. Anyone can do this with any dog ​​of any breed – they don’t have to be the working type – as all dogs like to eat or smell. But don’t rush to get to this point: trying to bribe your dog with a treat is less likely to work when you’re on the go, because smells – such as the smell of game or squirrels, other dogs, livestock and people – are much more tempting than a piece of cheese.

5. Mealtimes can be a good time to work on recall.

Feeding times are also a great opportunity to teach all kinds of commands, but are particularly useful when it comes to a good recall, as we can encourage the dog to learn its name and respond to commands from the whistle. Give a whistle (three or four individual blows) each time you prepare your dog’s food. Then ask him to follow you around the garden, while you carry his food in the bowl, while saying your dog’s name or whistling, much like the Pied Piper.

6. Use rewards sparingly – build rapport and trust

You can also create a better reminder by giving your dog a food reward or praise each time he comes back when called. However, don’t reward him every time – it’s important for the dog to be reminded several times and to know that he has to work very hard as a team with you, to build that trust knowing that he is only being rewarded for one consistent good behavior. .

For more detailed advice on by Ben Randall positive, rewards-based and proven BG training methods, individual training sessions, residential training or five-star canine boarding at his BGHQ in Herefordshire, phone 01531 670960 or visit

For a free seven-day trial of Gundog Appwhich costs £24.99 per month or £249.99 per year, visit

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